Friday, April 17, 2020

"The COVID-19 Boogaloo Opus"

That's the title of a very long and, frankly, very worrying article over at Handwaving Freakoutery (a blog we've met in these pages before).  I strongly recommend taking the time to click over there and read it in full.  (In case it's deleted by politically correct administrators, an archived copy may be found here.)

To whet your appetite, here are a few excerpts.

As the sensemaking crisis goes into overload on COVID-19, many people are shutting down, many people are hyperventilating, and many people don’t know what’s real and what’s not. The signal to noise ratio on this is very badly weighted towards noise, with our mainstream media sources and politicians failing to be particularly helpful. And while COVID-19 could kill you, other things could kill you too, such as unemployment, starvation, or national civil war, and we need to look at all of those things honestly to pull the signal out of the noise. There are a lot of things to consider.

. . .

The USA lost 45 days as compared to South Korea, at the same starting gun, entirely due to pencil pushers at the FDA and CDC. The important thing to take away from the Tale of The Second National F***up, is that no politician could have prevented this, unless they were willing to unilaterally step in, deplatform the FDA, burn HIPPA sooner, and bust the CDC down into an “advisory only” role. Not Trump, not Hillary, not Biden, not Bernie. The one politician who might have been able to do it, is the hypothetical caricature of Trump for which many Trump voters voted. And knowing how government works in the USA, it is unthinkable that this will get fixed, or that this won’t happen again the next time, because our universal bipartisan answer to government failure is more government.

And the government’s final response to needlessly wasting 45 days reacting to this, is to issue a 2 trillion-dollar bailout to pause the national economy for 56 days, so we can catch up, while everyone loses their jobs.

. . .

The math is all wrong. For one, we have some dead people who probably had COVID-19 and didn’t get counted because they didn’t get tested. For another, we have a lot more people who caught it and survived, but never got confirmed, because of the testing SNAFU. For a third, we have some currently alive cases who haven’t resolved in our numbers. This means the numerator in the fraction is wrong, and the denominator is very wrong. It is likely, on speculative analysis, that the final CFR for this thing will turn out to be very similar to the flu, as we see in South Korea and Iceland which have good testing. It’s “just” a flu that everyone gets all at once because nobody started with any immunity to it, which leads to more dead people. The spike of COVID-19 deaths we will see in the coming months are going to be several times higher than the flu deaths, because basically they’re several years-worth of flu victims squeezed into one year.

. . .

Most [gun store owners] estimate around 75% of gun sales in March 2020 were first time buyers. That would constitute 2.8 million people, almost 1% of the total US population buying their first gun. Many foreign nations only have 1% gun ownership rate nationwide. We may have that many who became first time owners a month ago. And now the ranges are closed, and they can’t practice or train with their new purchase, and they’re sitting at home losing their jobs reading a stream of social media anxiety.

These numbers don’t even count peer to peer sales or gifts of prior owned firearms. And the other things people are buying? Nonperishable food, medicines, seeds, things to use at home. Prepper stuff.

The makeup of COVID-19 America now constitutes the following classes:

1) Previously armed previous preppers
2) Previously armed new preppers
3) Newly armed new preppers
4) Unarmed new preppers, lovingly referred to as “targets.” Bless their heart.
Nobody’s not a prepper anymore. Certain corners of the internet might call this a “Boogaloo Soup.”

. . .

Be very clear, at the peak of the Syrian Civil War, the total number of combatants on all sides only numbered 2% or less of the population on a per capita basis. We have 1% new gun owners alone, a national gun ownership rate around 30%, and a projected number of Red or Blue tribal goons who support terrorism to be up around the 15% range before COVID-19 entered the picture ... Put simply, the Red Tribe / Blue Tribe cultural divide in the United States is thicker than mid-20th century racism. We have all the dehumanization we need for a civil war, and all the gear. We’re just not motivated yet.

. . .

A lot of people I speak to don’t seem to understand that the economy is not just something we do to manipulate a stock market. It is the fundamental way that humans provide for our needs, including food, and has been since we came down out of the trees and settled on this idea of “labor specialization” ... The calculus of when to come off lockdown is different everywhere, and the damage the lockdown does must be accounted for in this calculus ... If the lockdown doesn’t actually save that many people anyway, because our treatments in the hospital don’t help that much, then this entire calculation gets a lot muddier. And all this ignores the hunger element, which for the USA is tied in with both the Potential Boogaloo and the food service industry.

. . .

According to the New York Times, tens of millions of pounds of fresh food are being destroyed by the nations farmers because we closed restaurants, hotels, and schools ... Farmers are currently plowing under fields of fresh produce, because they have no choice ... the terrifying thing lies below the surface. It’s conceivable that bailout money could keep those industries alive, but there is no amount of bailout money that will dig that onion out of the ground. And the onion served a more important purpose than farming revenue. It was food. It prevented hunger. That’s what the economy is for, remember? ... in a very real way, if we don’t open the restaurants up soon, and get the prior supply chains working again, we are very likely to end up with long term food shortages here.

And that’s the last element we need to start shooting each other.

There's much more at the linkHighly recommended reading.

The author argues his case cogently, persuasively and convincingly.  I wish I could find more in his article with which to disagree . . . but I can't.  What's more, I'm seeing more and more every day to confirm his thesis.  Just as one example, consider the actions of local and state governments in response to this pandemic.  On balance (although not always), most Republican governments appear to be focused on getting back to work as quickly and as safely as possible, to keep their local and regional economies going.  On balance (although not always), most Democratic governments appear to be focused on enforcing their authority over their constituents, whether or not that authority is being constitutionally and legitimately exercised.

Progressives are also using this opportunity to even further cement their ideological positions into law, whether or not those positions are widely accepted among their people.  Their attitude appears to be, "Now that we've made it the law, you will obey, or else! - even if you disagree."  Let South Park sum it up, for such ideological hard-liners and those who enforce their will:

To that attitude, many Americans have a visceral and emphatic response, often associated with a single finger, duly extended.  If progressives are so unwise as to push the issue, some of the hands behind those fingers might soon wield something a little more emphatic in its disdain.

Let Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform summarize what many Americans are thinking and feeling right now.

The time is approaching when we will need to separate the wheat from the chaff. This ongoing test of character will reveal the true nature of our political, financial, corporate, religious, and neighborhood leaders. You will be able to determine what type of person they are by whether they are willing to violate moral and ethical codes to achieve their objectives. It is times like these where your true nature is revealed.

So far, virtually every national leader, and most certainly Powell, Mnuchin and Congressional leaders, have failed this test miserably. They have confirmed we are run by one party, beholden to corporate and banking interests, and perfectly willing to destroy the livelihoods of the 99.9% to keep the 0.1% enriched and empowered. The ruling class has violated every moral and ethical code known to man, and will continue to do so until they are stopped through violent means. The chaff will need to burn.

. . .

I, along with many other like minded people in this country, have been stoically living our lives, prudently managing our affairs, working and saving, not being lured into the rigged markets, preparing for the challenges we saw ahead, and viewing everything spewed by politicians or media talking heads as nothing but hot air and propaganda.

I’ve hated the road this country has been on for the last twenty years, but with the actions taken by the Fed and government in the last few weeks, they have pressed down hard on the accelerator as if they want to take the country over the cliff and into the abyss below. What is the end game to these machinations and schemes? Do they have some master plan for a global world order, or are they just arrogant psychopaths flailing about trying to retain their wealth, status and power? Whatever the purpose, it is not going to end well.

I’ve been able to live my life without much interference from the surveillance state until now. When the State purposely destroys the economy, endangering my ability to earn a living, imprisons me in my home with threat of sanctions if I don’t obey, uses technology to monitor my movements, and then throws a couple grand of my own tax money back at me as compensation to shut up and submit to their shitting on my Constitutional rights, I’ve got a problem.

I’m not willing to sacrifice my liberty and freedoms for the safety and security of a corporate fascist oligarchy disguised as a government of the people, by the people and for the people. This farce has gone on for far too long. Once we acquiesce and surrender our liberty, it can never be recovered.

. . .

Those who would give up essential Liberty,
to purchase a little temporary Safety,
deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

                                Ben Franklin

Again, more at the link.

Go read the first article above, think about it, and - if I may so suggest - consider preparing yourself accordingly.  I wish I could say the author was way out in left field in his appreciation of what's going on . . . but I can't.



McChuck said...

"Do they have some master plan for a global world order, or are they just arrogant psychopaths flailing about trying to retain their wealth, status and power?"

Embrace the healing power of AND.

Don't forget, folks. Civil War 2.0 will also most likely kick off war with Mexico, and a new civil war there as well. We may have to conquer Canada as a purely defensive matter after the dust settles here, if the Canucks don't handle things there themselves. (Vancouver is a Chinese colony city now, with the active participation of the government in Ottawa.)

Glenda T Goode said...

The progressives have the same mentality as the kamikaze pilots. They will push their agenda to their deaths if it comes to that because that is how deeply they actually believe their utopian bullshit.

In other words, the left is more than willing to take this to the mats and fight to the death and lose for their cause.

As a conservative student of history, I am of the opinion that I am more than willing to help them accomplish their goals if need be. This is how much I disagree with their agenda. As it is, I and people like me are far better prepared for such a societal disagreement than they are.



What was it Patton said? Your job is not to die for your country, it's to make the other SOB die for his country. Or something close to that.

I am far, far better prepared than - probably - 90% of the people in my area. And nowhere near where I'd like to be even so.

Phil said...

The fabled Everything Bubble has popped finally.
The long term ramifications to that alone are going to be the death knell of several systems we have been saddled with.
The housing industry is going to crash, again.
The automotive industry has already crashed, they just aren't telling you about it, yet. So has the airline industry.
As you mention above, the education system has had it's pants pulled down around it's ankles also.
Once again, the .01% has been coddled and their silk pillows adjusted for them while the rest of us are left to our own devices and abilities to survive.
No one seems to grasp that this is going to be The Great Depression V2.0.
You do not throw 10% of our entire population out of work ON PURPOSE and avoid that end result.
Throwing a one time $1200 tax rebate check at someone who a month ago was barely maintaining an artificial lifestyle in the first place and who has no job to pay the bills they could barely afford in the first place, will leave them no choice other than to use it for food.
In the mean time, the rent/mortgage will go unpaid along with the car payment(s), utility bill, water and garbage, insurance on the vehicles previously mentioned, health insurance, already maxed out credit cards plus any of the other myriad bills that show up like clockwork every month.
Times that effect by several million and then look down the road six months.
What do you see?

johnnyrotten said...

Thanks for that article; it was brilliant; truly.

Old NFO said...

Very interesting... To put it mildly!

Aesop said...


People are going to revolt who couldn't arrange getting themselves into a position to ride out a month's disruption, amidst the most booming economy in decades?

Sh'yeah, pull the other one, it's got bells on it.

Whatever happens is going to think the herd, no more, and no less.
The problem is that once the range is hot in both directions, the fog of war descends, and any subsequent outcome becomes possible.

You're going to have hotheads on both sides, and catty-corner, those who are stable and well-adjusted, not to mention well-prepared, across from bog-stupid anarchists and utopian fantasists.

Bet on the folks playing the long game, and fully prepared - in every sense - to back it up. The unprepared ideologues on all sides will be the chum that fertilizes whatever comes next.

History is not written by winners nor losers.
It is written by the survivors.
If you get thrown out of the gene pool, whatever the reason, your further contributions to civilization are at an end.

Sam L. said...

I repeat the words of Sarah Hoyt: I have two middle fingers to present, and will whenever needed.

Ray - SoCal said...

I am amazed at how fast Trump has moved.

Jan 21 - First case detected in US
Jan 29 - Coronavirus Task Force Established
Jan 31 - Travel ban 31
Feb 5 - Trump impeachment vote by Senate
Feb 24 - Pelosi in SF Chinatown encouraging visitors
Feb 26 - Mike Pence takes lead task force

And the first heads of the CDC and Department of Health were forced to resign by the press.